Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday the United States is prepared to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the Venezuelan people as socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro desperately clings to power.
"The United States is ready to provide more than $20 million in initial humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela as they struggle to cope with severe food and medicine shortages and the other dire impacts of their country’s political and economic crisis caused by the illegitimate Maduro regime," the State Department released Thursday. "Venezuela’s National Assembly has stressed the need for immediate international humanitarian assistance. In response, the United States is ready to provide emergency aid throughout Venezuela to help meet the increasingly urgent humanitarian needs of Venezuelans affected by this crisis."
.@SecPompeo at @OAS_official: Today I am announcing U.S. is ready to provide more than $20 million in humanitarian aid to the people of #Venezuela. The funds are to help them cope w/severe food & medicine shortages & other dire impacts of their country’s political & econ. crisis. pic.twitter.com/gXlzU7EkGs— Department of State (@StateDept) January 24, 2019
The country erupted on Wednesday after the United States, along with a number of other countries, officially declared Maduro an illegitimate president and recognized Juan Guadio as the nation's leader. Pompeo bolstered this stance during remarks today.
.@SecPompeo: The U.S. is a friend of #Venezuela and of the Venezuelan people. We have watched Venezuelans suffer for far too long. We know what they know, that the tyranny of the now defunct Maduro regime has for far too long choked the country and its citizens. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/WjVPbETBHN— Department of State (@StateDept) January 24, 2019
.@SecPompeo at @OAS_official: The regime of former president Nicolas Maduro is illegitimate. His regime is morally bankrupt, it is economically incompetent, and it is profoundly corrupt. It is undemocratic to the core. #Venezuela pic.twitter.com/MrjDZy8ads— Department of State (@StateDept) January 24, 2019
Maduro is refusing to step down and the military, which is backing him, has been firing live ammunition at protestors.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor John Bolton explained to reporters earlier what the administration is doing to foster Guadio's transition to power.
"What we’re focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the source of its revenues. We think consistent with our recognition of Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela that those revenues should go to the legitimate government, it’s very complicated, we’re looking at a lot of different things we have to do, but that’s in the process. We’re speaking with governments in this hemisphere which have overwhelmingly recognize the new constitutional government," he said. "We’re talking to our colleagues in Europe and elsewhere to demonstrate widespread political support for the interim presidency, and we’re moving to do everything we can to strengthen this new legitimate representative government.”